Dressing against the norm — What does it say about you?

Dressing against the norm — what does it say about you?

From eccentric socks to dressing against our gendered expectations, many people push the limits of social norms when it comes to fashion. Research has shown that non-conformists can be viewed as being of a higher status and more competent than those who follow the rules of fashion. We take a look at what different clothing says about the wearer…

Against gendered expectations

The line is becoming increasingly blurred between male and female clothing. Many people are speaking up, opposing the ideas that men and women should be dressed according to their sex. But, are you presenting yourself in a different way when you dress against the gendered expectations?

Although fashionistas are saying that they don’t agree with gender rules, some research suggests that we’re still stuck in our old ways. Psychologists in New Jersey found that attitudes towards gender stereotypes hadn’t changed much between 1983 and 2014.

There is an argument that shows that it’s favourable for women to cross the gender barrier but perhaps not men. Back in 1990, it was found that — despite the sex of the applicant – if the clothing that they wore was more masculine, they were more likely to be hired. When men dressed in pink however (a colour commonly associated with females), they were seen as less intelligent than women who were wearing the same colour.

Eccentric wear

Another way of going against the grain when it comes to style it through eccentric clothing. When we think of outrageous outfits we may think of people with brightly coloured hair, patterned clothing and over the top jewellery. But, there are other ways to express freedom through dress.

For example, people who wear unconventional socks are viewed as being rebellious and expressive. One of these people is Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada, who shows off his fun side by wearing funky socks with a traditional suit. You can make your own subtle ‘eccentric’ changes through patterned socks by CT shirts, online retailers of men’s formal shirts and accessories. Or make yourself stand out from the crowd through bright scarves and other extras.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

By dressing against the norms, studies have shown that you build a brand of being ‘gutsy’. And in fact, people have the potential to see you as more brilliant, creative and successful. One study, published in 2014, found that those who go against conformity can be viewed as of a higher status than those who don’t. They were also considered to be more competent — potentially influencing the impression that they give off in the workplace.

Not only does it affect people’s perceptions of you but it can also affect the way you think, feel and act — this is through ‘embodied cognition’. Since eccentric dress gives you greater potential to express your individuality, it’s possible that it can make you feel more confident and comfortable in different situations. This could then go on to improve your performance at work or in challenges where you want to push yourself.

Against the dress code

In some situations, for a job interview perhaps, it can be argued that dressing in accordance with expectations is the best thing to do.

Under some circumstances, we think that people with extraordinary appearances are more successful.

Men who wear smart, fitted suits as they are often expected to wear in a formal situation, were perceived as being more confident, successful and thought to be earning a higher wage. This was compared to men who weren’t dressed as smartly — in a loosely fitted suit.

In one study that looked at the effects of clothing, it was found that senior managers were rated less favourably if they were dressed more ‘provocative’. This was a skirt slightly above the knee and one button on the blouse undone. It’s clear to see that it is important to consider our dress style carefully as people can make many assumptions without any evidence.

In some environments, wearing your set uniform can improve your productivity. Research found that in a lab, those who were wearing lab coats felt smarter and went on to perform better!

As we can see, dressing against societies expectations can have many effects on the opinion of others and your own performance. Although it’s important to express yourself through dress, you don’t want to hinder your work or your impression on others in formal situations. Wear a pair of crazy socks underneath your day-to-day outfit instead.

 

UN-LOCK THE SECRETS TO A NEW YOU TODAY WITH RACHEL,YOUR PERSONAL STYLE COACH!

 

 

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Grooming Tips For Men!

Attention to detail when dressing, allows you to carry a clear and successful image to work from the word go. If you don’t want others’ to decide what your message is for you, then take a few pointers from the tips below- Taking care about the way you look shows others’ you are in the driving seat and you care who you are, and what you stand for. Because if you don’t, why should anyone else?

Stand out for the right reasons and short-cut your way to success in your business life.

Olu Eletu

 

1.Bin The Bag– There are no excuses for carrying around old conference bags with fading logos and torn straps. This is a pet hate of mine. An old bag looks only two things. Lazy and sloppy. No one is interested you went to Comic-Con six years running, so give it to your kids! Invest in quality, preferably dark brown or black leather in a briefcase or wallet. It looks the business, because it is business and will far outlast anything else you own.

2.Scent– If you wear after-shave, make sure it is not too over powering or distracting to your message. Aftershaves & perfume have a shelf life and can go rancid, especially left in the sun and out of the box. For something classic, go for Aqua di Parma. If its good enough for Cary Grant…

3.Giveaway-If you have a penchant for Mickey Mouse, that’s fine, but remember to leave your personal trinkets behind at the start of the working week. It could say more about you than you were willing to reveal and may even jeopardise important decision making!

4.Nailed it– This one is obvious, but keep your nails clean and groomed. When it comes to climbing the career ladder, details matter and people do notice.

5.Footsie– Women regularly check each others’ shoes out, so lets assume men do the same. How do yours measure up? Check your shoes are at the very least, polished and up for the job. If you are wearing a great suit, then a pair of shoes in good repair will amplify your whole look.

6.Talking Head– If you are in the corporate world, you will also be a talking head. Keeping things groomed on the upper half, is already half the work. Keep hair clean and in check. Dandruff and greasy hair doesn’t work, whatever the occasion. If you are a beard man, keep your hairstyle neat. Too much hair can be distracting and take away from your message. (unless Grizzly Adams is your message!)

7.Pit Guy– Not wearing deodrant is not an option. If you wear after-shave, go for a perfume free deodorant so they are not fighting each other.

8.Smokin’– If you have a penchant for a smoke, remember to cleanse your breathe afterwards with a mint or mouth wash. You, as well as others will be grateful!

 

Are you, or someone you know transitioning from a previous job and would like to know how to start with a successful and clear personal image? Then get in TOUCH today for a style session with Rachel!

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One For The Men!

Men, you don’t have to go around wearing the same old safe, blue, and black. Ok, so you probably can’t go to work wearing red jeans unless you have an open minded boss, work from home or (more likely) an advertising company. Then of course you will need them for your creative play zones. On weekends however, you can wear whatever takes your fancy!

PAmens2Let your personality shine using colour and accessories. If you are not confident with colour, then start from the bottom up. I love these desert boots with blue rims between the soles. Or throw a colourful scarf against a dark jacket. The devil as they say, is in the detail!

Hats are another way to show some style and will give an illusion of height. Kaufhof department store in Munich has a fantastic selection of mens hats and accessories.

Start experimenting or book me for a personal shopping workout to show you how!

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